25 Brands of Face Wash to Use If You Have Sensitive Skin


Whether you live with a skin condition (such as psoriasis or eczema) or a chronic illness that affects your skin, it can be difficult to find skin care products that effectively cleanse your face without aggravating it. While harsh chemicals can certainly be a trigger for an outbreak, many people may also struggle with particular fragrances, oils or other ingredients.

You shouldn’t have to irritate your skin and risk a flare-up or allergic reaction in order to wash your face, so we asked our Mighty community to share which brands of face wash they use if they have sensitive skin. Here are their recommendations.

We hope the products below, all recommended by our Mighty community members, help you or a loved one in your health journeys. Just so you know, The Mighty may collect a share of sales from the Amazon links on this page.

1. Neutrogena

neutrogena ultra gentle hydrating cleanser

Neutrogena offers a wide variety of skin care products to accommodate your individual skin type. The brand offers cleansers that are oil-free, hydrating, ultra gentle, natural or geared towards stubborn acne or blackheads.

Carrie Wunderlick told us, “I am allergic to sulfates and I have super sensitive skin, so I use Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (creamy formula) [featured above]. It is one of the few products that doesn’t irritate my skin.”

I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin face wash,” said Sheri Peterson. “I have acne-prone skin and it also gets dry in places. This stuff doesn’t break me out and leaves my face and neck so soft!”

Buy the cleanser above for $9.99 from Neutrogena.

2. Shea Moisture

Shea Moisture African Black Soap problem skin facial mask

Shea Moisture carries natural and organic personal care products made with 100 percent virgin coconut oil and Shea butter. Their African Black Soap, a popular product in our chronic illness community, is made from palm ash, tamarind extract, tar and plantain peel, which helps to calm and clear blemishes and troubled skin.

“Shea Moisture – African Black Soap [featured above] specifically,” recommended Ashley O’Connor. “I have dermatitis and it’s been a god-send! The only thing that has helped and cleared up my skin. I get really bad sores and rashes but this has helped so much!”

Tierra M. Nauman wrote, “[I use] African Black Soap by Shea Moisture and follow up with witch hazel and Acure sensitive skin moisturizer.”

Buy the facial mask above for $12.99 from Shea Moisture.

3. CeraVe

cerave hydrating facial cleanser

CeraVe skin care products were developed with dermatologists to be moisturizing while also targeting various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or dry skin. The products are made with a blend of three essential ceramides, fatty acids and other lipids to help repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.

Tifney Schoenfeld suggested, “CeraVe facial cleanser for normal to dry skin. I have CREST, a mild form of scleroderma, and rosacea as well as skin cancer. CeraVe products were recommended from my dermatologist and I have finally found relief from terribly dry and itchy skin.”

“CeraVe facial cleanser is great for my rosacea and super-sensitive skin. I like it better than Cetaphil,” Barbara Resch Marincel added.

Buy the facial cleanser above for $9.02 from Amazon.

4. Live Clean

live clean fresh face smoothing facial scrub

This Canadian company makes eco-friendly, plant-based personal care products without any harsh chemicals. Their Fresh Face line is more than 96 percent natural and plant-derived, hypoallergenic, made with essential oils and free of many irritating chemicals.

Sheila Victoria said, “I use Live Clean products, the Fresh Face scrub and foaming face wash in particular. They’re really easy on my skin but get the job done. Their shampoos are nice, too. They’re made to be environmentally-friendly and low on harsh chemicals you find in a lot of similar products.”

Buy the facial scrub above for $23.99 from Amazon.

5. Norwex

norwex body cloths

Norwex creates personal care products and cleaning products with the intention of reducing the use of harsh chemicals in the home. The lightweight, microfiber facial and body cloths (featured above) are antibacterial and only require hot water, making them useful for dry or sensitive skin.

“I actually switched to using Norwex cloths,” Alicia Thompson told us. “It sounds a little crazy, but they are actually made to be anti-bacterial, and you use them with no soap. I think they are a great idea for people with chemical sensitivity. Plus, you can buy one set and use them for ages (I’ve been using mine for three years, you just wash them in really hot water with laundry soap that is soap-free. You can either use their brand, or I buy Molly’s Suds, also great for people who are sensitive). Anyway, I do still have acne, but it seems to keep my skin nice and clean. You do have to find a consultant in your area to order from, but still totally worth it.”

Buy the cloths above for $19.99 by finding a Norwex consultant near you.

6. Kokoso

kokoso coconut oil moisturizer

This UK company makes skin care products for babies, but that doesn’t mean adults can’t use the products, too! From moisturizer to hair and body wash, the products are created using raw virgin organic coconut oil to be gentle on the skin.

“Having had hormonal acne for over 20 years (thanks endometriosis!), I have to be careful about what I use on my skin. Most of the time I just wash my face with water, but I also use Kokoso coconut oil. I just massage it in and then wipe off with a hot wet cloth. It’s great if you have makeup on as it will remove everything but it’s also very gentle and moisturizing for sensitive skin… Just make sure you remove it afterwards else you will be a bit greasy!” wrote Shireen Hand.

Buy the moisturizer above for £7.99 from Kokoso.

7. Badger Balm

badger balm unscented face cleansing oil

Badger is a family-run company from New Hampshire that uses organic plant extracts, exotic oils, beeswax and minerals to make safe and effective personal care products. Their facial cleansers are 100 percent natural, certified organic, hypoallergenic and can help dissolve makeup and reduce irritation and redness.

Sarah Langer recommended, “Badger Balm’s unscented face cleanser and face oil [featured above]. I’m very chemically sensitive, so I can’t use non-natural brands. It’s fragrance-free, organic and incredibly nourishing for the skin. It’s so gentle, but works! It takes off my natural mascara with no problem.”

Buy the cleansing oil above for $15.99 from Badger Balm.

8. Eye Love

heyedrate lid and lash cleaner

This 100 percent organic and natural lid and lash cleanser is designed to help soothe dry eyes, blepharitis, styes, gland dysfunction and dry, inflamed skin conditions. Made with hypochlorous acid, Heyedrate can kill microorganisms, neutralize inflammation and prevent biofilm formation. To use, spray once or twice on the closed eyelids, then pat dry.

“Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser is great for sensitive skin,” Llana Harp told us. “Great for inflammation. Super gentle, no residue left behind. Does not sting or irritate.”

Buy the lid and lash cleaner above for $15 from Eye Love.

9. Cetaphil

cetaphil gentle facial cleanser

Cetaphil creates skin care products that are gentle, hydrating and fragrance-free. They make facial cleansers for normal and combination skin, dry skin (featured above) and oily skin.

“Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser [featured above] is awesome,” said Libby Rydell. “No soap in it and there’s no residue left behind to clog pores. This and Dr. Bronner’s peppermint bar soap are the only two things I wash my face with.”

“I have rosacea that can’t be controlled, for some reason. I use Cetaphil Gentle cleanser and daily moisturizer. I’ve used them for about 10 years now,” wrote Diane Youngblood.

Buy the skin cleanser above for $9.52 from Walmart.

10. Rodan+Fields

rodan and fields soothe gentle creamy face wash

Rodan+Fields is an anti-aging skin care brand created by two dermatologists to help people achieve a healthy, clear, even-toned complexion. The Soothe line is designed for those with sensitive skin to help reduce redness, peeling and dryness.

“R&F Soothe line is amazing!” said Janine Trala. “My skin has become so sensitive and angry at almost every product I use. The Soothe line has been the only thing I can use.”

Buy the face wash above for $43 from Rodan+Fields (note: you will need to create an account in order to purchase).

11. Vanicream

vanicream bar soap

Vanicream is made by Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. – a company that specializes in sensitive skin care products. Vanicream is mild, gentle and fragrance-free and includes a variety of products, including soap, face cleanser, moisturizer and lotion.

Erin Presutti wrote, “I usually just use Vanicream bar soap [featured above]. I have very sensitive skin and am allergic to carba ingredients like carbomer and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.”

“Vanicream!” recommended Jessica Holt. “It’s really gentle and cleans the skin amazingly. It’s also really hydrating.”

Buy the cleansing bar above for $3.49 from Walgreens.

12. Vital C

image skin care vital C hydrating facial cleanser

The Vital C Collection by Image Skincare is formulated for dry, sensitive and redness-prone skin and is meant to hydrate, nourish and revitalize.

Diana Estell Butler told us, “My esthetician got me started on Vital C by Image Skincare for my rosacea. My skin has never looked better in my whole life (of 40 years!) and I constantly get compliments now.”

Buy the facial cleanser above for $29 from Image Skincare (note: you will need to create an account in order to purchase).

13. Dermalogica

dermalogica ultra calming cleanser

Developed by The International Dermal Institute, Dermalogica carries a variety of skin care products for people with all types of skin. They have an “ultracalming” line designed specifically for sensitivity or redness, and the cleanser (featured above) is non-foaming and helps calm and cool the redness and heat associated with reactive, sensitized or overprocessed skin.

“Dermalogica has helped my hormonal cystic acne a lot. Having several conditions that all involve wonky hormone levels means I’m really prone to it,” wrote The Invisible Hypothyroidism.

Buy the facial cleanser above for $37 from Dermalogica.

14. Bioré

biore baking soda skin cleansing wash

Bioré skin care products specifically target the pores by cleaning out clogged dirt and oil. The oil-free baking soda facial cleanser (featured above) deep cleans and exfoliates dry, flaky skin.

Tracie Gutel said, “I’m allergic to most skin care products but I am on hormones for endometriosis so my skin breaks out so much! So I use Bioré! I’ve never had a bad reaction to it and it works super well!!”

“Bioré cream wash,” recommended Lauren Hill. “Gentle but does the job.”

Buy the pore cleanser above for $7.99 from Walgreens.

15. Garnier

garnier gentle sulfate-free facial cleanser

Garnier has a variety of hair care and skin care products to accommodate all types of hair and skin. Their SkinActive gentle cleanser doesn’t contain any sulfates, alcohol, fragrance, parabens, oil or soap and removes face makeup, impurities and excess oil while softening skin.

Samantha Stiles told us, “I recently found Garnier has a gentle sulfate-free cleanser [features above] that works really well. I haven’t had an allergic reaction to it so far and I have really sensitive skin.”

Buy the facial cleanser above for $11.99 from Garnier.

16. DHC

DHC olive concentrated cleansing oil

DHC is a skin care company started in Japan that makes products using olive virgin oil and no parabens, colorants or added fragrance. Their Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil (featured above) is designed for those with sensitive skin to deeply moisturize and help prevent future dryness.

“Never in a million years would I have easily believed that using an olive oil cleanser would be the best money I ever spent for caring for my face. Perfect for sensitive skin, or for anyone. Great stuff!” wrote Julie Johnson.

Buy the cleansing oil above for $31 from DHC.

17. Clarins

clarins cleansing duo for dry, sensitive skin

Clarins is a skin care company that offers a range of products for people with dry and sensitive skin. The cleansing duo above includes a gentle foaming cleanser with Shea butter and a toning lotion with camomile.

“I use Clarins for sensitive and dry skin,” Dyanne Thomas said. “Nothing else. Also Clarins facial cream for very dry skin. I have Sjogren’s and very dry skin and this is all that works.”

Buy the cleansing duo above for $28 from Clarins.

18. Avène

avene cold cream cleansing gel

Avène skin care products are based in naturally soothing spring water and specifically designed for people with sensitive skin. The Cold Cream Cleansing Gel above is hypoallergenic, soap-free, paraben-free and non-drying to provide hydration and nourishment.

“Avène,” recommended Shayla Rae Blatz. “It’s the only facial cleanser and moisturizer that doesn’t cause my face and neck to break out in an angry rash.”

Buy the cleansing gel above for $24 from Avène.

19. Liz Earle

liz earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser

Liz Earle is a British beauty company that creates products for all skin types. Their Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is made with cocoa butter to soften, smooth and moisturize, and rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus to tone, soothe and purify. The cleanser comes with a pure cotton cloth you can use to gently exfoliate.

“I have really sensitive dry skin. I found that Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is amazing,” Verity Reedy told us. “The muslin cloth exfoliates while still being very gentle. I wouldn’t be without it.”

Buy the cleanser above for $24 from Liz Earle

20. Simple

simple foaming cleanser

Simple offers a range of skin care products that are gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. None of their products have any dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh irritants that could upset skin. The nourishing foaming cleanser (featured above) contains skin-loving ingredients and Pro-Vitamin B5 to remove impurities and remaining traces of makeup.

“I tried for years to find something my face liked and have finally had success using Simple foaming cleanser! It’s really gentle and doesn’t make my skin angry,” wrote Ashley Seymour.

Buy the cleanser above for $7.12 from Walmart.

21. Sukin

sukin cleansing lotion

Sukin creates natural skin, hair and body care products using cold-pressed, solvent free oils, essential oils and 100 percent natural botanical extracts. Their Sensitive Range is made with chamomile, aloe vera and cucumber to cool and soothe dry skin, and rosehip, sesame, jojoba and avocado oils to hydrate delicate skin.

Johanna Butler suggested, “Sukin, Australian Natural Skincare, Sensitive Range. Sulphate and paraben-free. It is very gentle and mild, while leaving your skin feeling clean and soft. I love it, it is one of the few facial cleansers I can use without any reaction.”

Buy the cleansing lotion above for $10.95 from Sukin (Australian shipping only).

22. Purity Made Simple

philosophy purity face wash

Philosophy carries a range of personal care products, including their Purity Made Simple line of face and body cleanser. The facial cleanser (featured above) gently deep cleans pores, eliminates makeup build-up and conditions skin using natural oil extracts. It is formulated for all skin types – even sensitive – and is gentle enough to use in the eye area.

Eileen Davidson told us, “I currently am living for my Philosophy Purity cleanser! Gentle enough to remove makeup and gives me a deep cleanse when I’ve been too sick to shower or wash my face for up to a few days.”

“Philosophy Purity is the only thing that touches my skin,” added Joan Wyjack.

Buy the face cleanser above for $24 from Sephora.

23. Johnson’s

johnson's head to toe baby wash

Johnson’s body wash may be marketed for babies, but it can be useful for anyone with extra-sensitive skin. It’s hypoallergenic, free of parabens, phthalates, soaps or dyes and is as gentle on the eyes as pure water.

Kaitlyn Young told us, “I use Johnson & Johnson’s baby wash for my sensitive skin.”

“I use Johnson’s baby wash,” added Shonda Riley Crawford.

Buy the body wash above for $4.80 from Walmart.

24. Aveeno

aveeno ultra-calming foaming cleanser for sensitive skin

Aveeno uses natural ingredients to make a variety of skin, hair and body care products. Their “ultra-calming” line of facial products for people with sensitive skin is fragrance-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic, reduces redness and lifts away dirt, oil and makeup while still being gentle and soothing.

“Aveeno ultra-calming foaming cleanser [featured above],” recommended Donna Lear Lambro. “So great on my sensitive skin and rosacea.”

“Aveeno sensitive,” said Ryan Stone. “It helps a lot and doesn’t break me out in pimples or hives.”

Buy the cleanser above for $6.25 from Walmart.

25. Clinique

clinique acne solutions cleansing gel

Clinique carries a wide range of skin care products and makeup for many different types of skin. Their products also target different concerns, such as acne, dryness or redness. The cleansing gel featured above, part of the Acne Solutions line, is medicated and oil-free and can help clear breakouts and blackheads, unclog pores and control oil.

“I use Clinique acne solutions. It’s the only face wash that doesn’t irritate my skin,” wrote Noni Evans.

“Clinique,” said Sue Lilly. “I’ve tried others over the years and always come back to Clinique.”

Buy the cleansing gel above for $20.50 from Clinique.

What brands of face wash do you use for sensitive skin? Let us know in the comments below!


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Chronic Illness

Keala Settle in "The Greatest Showman."

Why 'This Is Me' From 'The Greatest Showman' Is My Chronic Illness Anthem

Over the holidays I took in the movie, “The Greatest Showman,” mainly because I love musicals, Hugh Jackman is amazing, and Zac Effron has been a crush of mine since he played Troy Bolton. Since Christmas Eve, I have seen the movie five times and listened to the sound track on repeat for weeks. Every [...]
when you have an autoimmune disease... T cell: I shouldn't attack my own cells. t cell to t cell: attack it

14 Memes That Nail What It's Like to Have an Autoimmune Disease

Living with an autoimmune disease (like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and others) can be extremely challenging and bring about a number of undesirable symptoms, and the fact that it’s all caused by your own immune system attacking healthy cells can be especially exasperating. After dealing with autoimmune issues my whole life, it’s [...]
18 'Hacks' That Help People With Chronic Illness Avoid Catching the Flu

18 'Hacks' That Help People With Chronic Illness Avoid Catching the Flu

Editor’s note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional. Flu season can be a scary time of year for even the healthiest of people. This year has been especially bad, as the flu outbreak is on track to be the worst one in nearly [...]
A woman outside in the snow, look away from the camera.

When Friends Can't See Past the Limitations of Your Illness

I reached out to an old friend of mine in the hope of rekindling our friendship and connection that we had a long time ago. I thought that sharing positivity and the same outlook towards life would help me in these troubled times. In an extreme emotional distress I called her and said, “I really [...]